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Tough law to block banned channels

Bapun Raz

Staff member
Community Manager
3 Nov 2010
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New Delhi, Aug. 2: Transmission of banned channels by cable operators will be made a
cognisable offence with stiffer financial penalties
and jail terms, the Centre told Parliament today. At present, the violations are treated as a minor
offence punishable with light penalties, often a few
hundred rupees. Under the new system, for which
the Centre will amend cable TV rules, there could be
provisions for imprisonment or a heavy fine or, in
some cases, both. Law-enforcement agencies have identified 25
“illegal” foreign channels, most of them based in
Pakistan, whose contents pose a security threat. Today’s announcement was made by information
and broadcasting minister of state C.M. Jatua in the
Lok Sabha in the form of a written reply to a
question. The minister, who is from the Trinamul Congress,
said the planned amendments to the Cable and
Television Networks (Regulation) Act of 1995 that
would bring in the stiffer provisions would be
aimed at discouraging cable operators from
beaming the illegal channels. The Centre plans to introduce the amendment bill
after the cabinet approves the draft being drawn
up now. “Security agencies have identified a list of
25 illegal foreign channels and observed that the
contents of some of these channels are not
conducive to the security environment in the country and pose a potential security hazard,” said
Jatua. The channels include at least 15 from Pakistan.
These include QTV, Madni TV, ARY TV, PTV, PTV
Home, PTV World, GeoTV, Dawn, Express, Waqat,
NoorTV, HadiTV, Aaj, Filmax and STV. Other banned channels include PeaceTV, uplinked
from Dubai, Saudi TV, TV Maldives, Bangladesh’s
NTV and XYZ TV, Nepal’s Nepal TV and Kantipur
(Nepal), the UK-based Ahmedia, Bhutan
Broadcasting Service and al Jazeera News. The government had allowed al Jazeera to
downlink its al Jazeera International news channel
in December last year but the group’s Arabic
channel still remains on the illegal list.

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